A few weeks ago, I bought my husband about a half dozen peacock eggs as a birthday present. Our family has raised chickens for years, but my husband and I have been fascinated by peacocks. I've collected peacock feathers for years, and Andrew admired their their reputation as watchbirds (apparently they make an eerily human scream when strangers approach at night).
But alas, peacocks are expensive. I had thought attempting to buy a single bird, but peacocks, like other fowl, thrive best in flocks or at least pairs, and $200 for a pair of grown birds was beyond my means. Then I saw an ad for fertile peacock eggs, $3 apiece. I decided to believe it was possible that our hens might hatch them, and made the phone call.
Two days later, I brought home seven huge, cold greyish eggs in a cooler, wrapped in t-shirts for warmth, wondering if I had just wasted my money. My husband and I looked skeptically at the rounded rocks of egg and debated whether or not they had survived the trip, or if they were even fertile.
But the children believed that these eggs would produce the large magnificent birds they eagerly read about in zoo books, and they had hope.
And fortunately, we found four broody hens in our flock who were willing to sit on the lumps of eggs. So we watched the hens sit, and waited as the weeks went by. We adults doubted, and tried to prepare the children for the worst. But the children believed.
Then, two days ago, a week before we estimated anything would happen, our oldest daughter came and whispered in my ear with suppressed excitement: "Mom, one of the eggs is hatching! It has a tiny hole!"
Bright and early the next morning, she was outside in the coop watching as our first yellow peachick pecked its way out of the enormous egg. All rejoiced, and another followed successfully. The next two did not survive hatching, and the kids mourned over them, and we buried them. But this morning, two more tomb-like eggs began hatching.
We all know that eggs symbolize the resurrection, as the proliferation of chicken eggs on Easter testifies. But it took these exotic, unusual eggs and their miraculous rebirth to bring the lesson home to me.